Amazon.com Inc.’s (AMZN) founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos has more than Prime Day to celebrate this week. His net worth has now surpassed $150 billion, making him not only the current world’s richest person but wealthier than anyone else on the planet dating back to at least 1982. That was the year Forbes began publishing its annual wealth rankings.
According to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index Bezos has a net worth of about $55 billion more than the second richest person in the world Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT) Bill Gates. And that’s even on an inflation-adjusted basis. According to Bloomberg, in 1999 Gates' net worth briefly reached $100 billion and would be worth $149 billion today, just shy of Bezos’ net worth today. So far in 2018 Bezos net worth has increased by $52 billion, which is more than Jack Ma’s fortune. As the chair of Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. (BABA), China’s leading e-commerce platform, Ma is the wealthiest person in Asia. Bezos is also close to surpassing the Walton family’s wealth which stands at $151.5 billion. (See more: Amazon Is Now in Value Stock Territory: Bloomberg.)
Gates In In Second Place
Coming in second in Bloomberg’s latest Billionaires Index is Gates, who has a net worth of $95.3 billion. Had Gates not donated cash and stock he would have more than $150 billion in net worth, according to Bloomberg. Since 1996, Bloomberg noted Gates has donated nearly 700 million shares of Microsoft and $2.9 billion in cash and other assets. Shares of Amazon closed on Monday at $1,822, up 0.52% or $9.46. So far this year shares are up more than 50%. (See more: Amazon Most 'Robust' FANG Stock: Canaccord.)
Bezos Wealth Increase Coincides With Prime Day
Bezo’s uptick in wealth comes as Amazon launched its annual Prime Day shopping event on Monday (July 16). While the 36-hour shopping event is expected to boost sales and increase the number of Prime subscribers, it wasn’t without some snafus. Shortly after Prime Day started, CNN reported that the website experienced outages that frustrated consumers hoping to get deals. They made their anger known on social media. In a statement to CNN Amazon said: "Some customers are having difficulty shopping, and we're working to resolve this issue quickly. Many are shopping successfully -- in the first hour of Prime Day in the U.S., customers have ordered more items compared to the first hour last year. There are hundreds of thousands of deals to come and more than 34 hours to shop Prime Day." During the 36-hour long event, Amazon offered over one million deals across product categories including TVs, smart home, kitchen, grocery, toys, fashion, furniture, appliances, back-to-school supplies and everyday essentials. The online retailer also plans to use the occasion to boost sales of its own products, offering the lowest prices to date on Echo, Fire TV, and Fire tablets, and introduce savings on products from Whole Foods, the organic food chain it acquired for $13.7 billion in 2017.